Off the dole and into a new line of work

By Carmen Hall

A week ago Glen Scammell was unemployed, on a benefit and struggling.

Today he has a new career as a truck washer and is celebrating after being promoted to team leader just three days into the job.

Mr Scammell works at CleanCo Truck Wash, which opened for business last week, creating 12 jobs for locals.

Company director David O'Hanlon said five positions were filled by Work and Income clients and another six by people knocking on his door. "I love that when people go out and look for work. I didn't advertise. I hired one guy from Winz and he sent his brother and his cousin who used to work in the kiwifruit orchards ... jeez I've almost got their whole whanau here."

Mr O'Hanlon is a former financial market dealer from Auckland who moved his family south six weeks ago because it was time for a change. "I wanted to do something different so this is pretty dramatic," he said.

Work and Income had helped him recruit staff and he had a good relationship with the agency, he said.

"They do all the pre-vetting of applicants and have a model that works. The quality of people they have put forward is also very good, although, of course, we do all our own training in Auckland before making final decisions."

In the year to the end of March, 395 people went off the benefit into work in Tauranga and 83 went into study. In 2012, 1704 working-aged people (18-64) from Work and Income's Greerton, Mount Maunganui and Tauranga offices cancelled their benefits after moving into work and 183 went into study.

Bay of Plenty regional commissioner for social development Mike Bryant said Job Streams was a flexible funding approach for employers.

"It offers wage subsidises, training assistance and in-work support and can be used to help clients into a part- or full-time role.

"We appreciate positive employers who are prepared to give people an opportunity. We value the relationships we have with employers and industry groups and are always looking for opportunities to assist and support them with their requirement needs." Mr Scammell had been pro-active and motivated in his search for work, Mr Bryant said.

"I'm pleased we were able to help him gain full-time work and he is doing well."

Mr Scammell said signing up to the dole had been a shock. "I didn't have any income and couldn't make ends meet so I had no choice."

The 35-year-old had worked most of his life and gained numerous qualifications in forestry before switching to the meat industry. He was jobless for two months before striking it lucky and has his sights set high.

"I want to be a manager one day but my ultimate goal would be running my own business."


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